Neil Young and Ronald Reagan


Neil Young News

Over the years, there's been a lot of speculation and commentary about whether Neil Young was actually a supporter of the United States President Ronald Reagan. Here are two interviews with Neil on the subject.


INT: You have been known to support Reagan, which a lot of fans thought you were going right wing, and then I think in Rolling Stone you said you weren't very fond of Bush. I was wondering why you apparently changed political views?

NEIL: Because that's only an apparent thing. I don't have a view, I have an opinion that changes because everyday is a different day. I'm not a liberal or a conservative. I'm not like that. With Reagan, some things he did were terrible, some things he did were great. Most people tend to take a president and say you hate...he does one thing you really don't like. Like he builds excessive amounts of warheads or something. So you write him off completely. Which I think is completely stupid. And I think, is very narrow minded.

Anyone can have an opinion and be right, like you don't want warheads on earth. I agree with that, but that is a decision that he made to do that and I disagree with that. On the other hand there are other things that he did that I agreed with. And because I had the ability to say what I feel, people only write part of it, because its news that I would agree with Reagan. So they say Neil Young supports Reagan, so fuck 'em, I don't care what they do.

Everyday is different. Sometimes I like George, sometimes I don't like George Bush.


MTV: At one point when you were sort of in a country mode, you were sort of making noises about Ronald Reagan was a good sort of come around from that position too?

NEIL: I never made, you know, I was never a Reagan supporter in a total blanket sense. I was one of those who felt that some ideas he had were good ideas. He had one point that he was stressing in the first six months of his job that he thought the people in the communities and neighborhoods should pull together and try to do things on their own more than depending on government to do it for them. And I thought that was a hell of an idea and here's this old guy and he's kind of got this image, of this fatherly image, telling all these people in their neighborhoods to pull together and get your own daycare centers happening, and get this and that happening.

I thought that was a cool thing, I thought it was a good thing. So then I'm on my bus, someplace in some hell hole somewhere, playing some show and the good part of it is when I'm on stage and the bad part of it is the rest of it. And these two dorks come on my bus, I don't know how it happened, I swear to God, two jerks from some press service come on my bus and start asking me these questions and I just kind of burnt.

And these guys starting putting down Reagan left and right and everything and I looked at the guy and I said "You're an asshole, you know, you don't know what the hell you are talking about cause you probably put down every damn president, you know, that ever lived. You're a president basher, that's all you do is if they win, they lose."

So I said the guy's got some good ideas, I stand behind the way he feels about this and that, and I told him...I said, I think you're full of shit for dismissing a person completely in every idea he has because he happens to be president and he makes some really stupid moves on one level, that I would never think of making. That doesn't mean that the guy didn't have some good ideas somewhere along the line maybe yesterday about something else.

So with the press, it's so hard, even though print is in black and white, it's so hard for them to make it clear what's really happening.

So here I am - Reagan supporter! [Neil throws up hands in mock humor sort of way while shrugging and shaking his head in disbelief.]

  • More in an interview on Neil Young and Ronald Reagan.
  • Also, see more on Ronnie and Neil (Ronnie Van Zant that is).

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